Albon only “95% satisfied” after inheriting podium finish

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Alexander Albon admitted he couldn’t take full satisfaction from his podium finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix because of the way it came about.

The Red Bull driver spent most of the race in fourth place behind Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. He inherited third place when an MGU-K failure forced Perez into retirement with four laps to go.

Albon said he had a “good race” but was under no illusions about the stroke of fortune which handed him his second podium finish.

“Obviously Sergio had a great race too and he had the blow-up,” said Albon. “So I’m partly, let’s say not fully satisfied. But it was still there, we had to be there to capitalise on it.”

The Red Bull driver, whose place at the team has not yet been confirmed for 2021, said some of the areas he has concentrated on improving paid off in yesterday’s race.

“On my side it was a good race. We had a good start, something which we’ve been working on recently and it’s nice to see it getting better.

“Then from that point on it was more or less being there to capitalise because I didn’t quite have the pace to overtake Sergio. We were just there behind, waiting for something to happen, and it did, so third was a good result. And especially a double podium for the team, that’s good for them as well.”

Albon described himself as being “95% satisfied” with his performance and result.

“It’s still a good race, just little things, fine-tuning. I know I was struggling a little bit with tyre deg[radation] through the stint but we were on a similar strategy to Lewis, we had two mediums so it was quite hard to push on the second stint.

“But saying that, of course I want to be better, I want to be faster and challenging more often for podiums.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Albon only “95% satisfied” after inheriting podium finish”

  1. He already did good by getting that initial 4th place – Despite all the brouhaha surrounding him in these three last races, I was glad that he didn’t slip and wreck his own race as he usually would at the start of the season. Wherever he ends up next year, Albon is a decent driver who’s not under the best circumstances, and I just hope for more for him :’)

  2. He certainly seemed more capable than Bottas yesterday, yet no one seems to question Bottas’ place at Mercedes.

    1. @paeschli This is because he’s generally done better at Mercedes than Albon at RBR this year.

    2. You mean that Albon was better at avoiding debris? That was unfortunate for Bottas…

      While I think Bottas lack this extra to cut through the field when out of position like Hamilton can do it, at least he is cautious and usually recover well. In same situation Albon sometimes forces it and generate tangles which cost him more.

      Verstappen was still able to make an extra pit stop on his team mate despite nothing happening to Albon and this being among his better races…

    3. @paeschli

      He also got a slow puncture which was unlucky, had a bizarre strategy with just doing 13 laps on his 3rd tyre change, then on his final stop, while it was expected that he would be going back onto used tyres, it was not expected that one of them would be the same one with a puncture (the same as stint 2). No wonder he was struggling to catch ricciardo.

  3. Still wasn’t able to affect Mercedes’ strategy though. I mean Albon said it himself on saturday, that was what he set out to do.

    1. seriously? Max and Alex were very dependent on team strategy,given the superiority iof the Merc.As for not affecting Merc’s strategy….hmmmm…he was already ahead of Bottas when the red flag came up, wasn’t he?

  4. Dont worry Alex. Now Horner has a 100% excuse to retain you for your Thai money.

    1. Always revealing to read the insightful and well-argued comments by true racefans on this site.

      Although, I still tend to step into the odd sarcasm trap.

      1. hehehe,tight on #ashtag

  5. I just don’t get how Albon can be 95% satisfied with that performance. Sure, it wasn’t as dire as most his performances this season, but 95% to be 40 seconds behind your teammate (by the time the SC came out) and running in 4th completely unable to challenge Perez, after binning it in FP2 and qualifying .6s behind your teammate, still? All while fighting desperately for a seat next year?

    I can understand you can see it as a net positive to end up on the podium and 4th in qualifying, but 95%? That’s worrying if true because it means he’s near the limit of what he can perform.

    1. Indeed, he’s just not deserving of the red bull, period, get perez! I know they won’t but really should.

    2. @aiii, I feel the same. Once again people are evaluating results and not circumstances. If he were in a midfield car those .6s behind his team mate would mean he would start 6 to 8 (or more) places behind and no one would be saying he did a good job. Then being unable to overtake Perez and lucking into a podium can make him happy in one way but is nothing to be overly satisfied about.

      Another thing I fail to understand is some TV pundits asking whether that engine blow out would be what decided the Red Bull in Albon’s favour. I mean, why would either Perez or him be judged on whether either got a podium in one reliability-affected race and not on how well each one drove throughout the year given their respective cars and regardless of reliability issues.

    3. @aiii to that end, Verstappen was also being rather dismissive of Albon’s performance and made exactly the same point – when one interviewer commented to him that it was good that Albon scored a podium, Max’s response was “if you trail your teammate with 30-40 seconds you can hardly say he did a good job”.

      Whilst I can see why some want to defend Albon, even his own team mate now seems to be joining the list of critics of his performances.

  6. Interesting observations.Interesting how so many peeps only apply such comparisons to Alex. And, don’t worry too much Aiii, because it just may be that Alex is only just starting to discover that performance limitations are all in the mind :-)

    1. @geoffgroom44 Max Verstappen was dismissing Albon’s performance with pretty much the same remarks as Aiii was after that race.

      When one interviewer made a remark to Max that it was a good thing that Albon had scored a podium, Max’s response was “if you trail your teammate with 30-40 seconds you can hardly say he did a good job” – so, that list of critics of Albon is now growing to include his own team mate.

      1. But of course he does.and there’s the difference between youth and experience.Lewis rarely speaks of Valteri in such a way, not even after this GP or recent one’s where Valteri has been lapped by Lewis.But the ‘cok o the middin’ has to crow loud about those beneath,it’s part of the mind games.Of course, it also makes Max’s performance look even better, doesn’t it?

  7. In all fairness, this was a decent race from Albon and something you would reasonably expect from someone who entered F1 one and a half year ago. He was able to keep up to the pace a lot better, he had a decent quali and the start. But is the sole decent performance in the last few months enough to stay in the top seat? Probably not, but it will be Red Bull’s decision and they’ll probably sacrifice yet another season with it. I fell they’ll keep him. Checo will probably have to settle for Haas and Hulk will stay on the sidelines.

    1. Perez said he won’t go anywhere but red bull, and I can’t blame him, he’s been in the midfield all career, if he can’t go to a top team (who anyway is not good enough for titles) it’s not worth it.

  8. This is why I find it difficult to rate him cause he’ll get these results which are very good on paper but he often misses more than he hits.

  9. How not getting even near Perez in a much better car is a good race?

    1. ‘…getting even near…’ Is a fascinating comment especially if you do as I do and 2 screen the race with the lap timings on the other screen.Started 4th, demoted to 5th after red flag, regained 4th and wasn’t that far behindPerez a lot oft he time.As Horner said, he ran a ‘mature’ race and was in the right place at the right time to capitalise on Perez’s unfortunate car failure.He avoided any ‘incidents’ and RB were able to have 2 podium places. So, for you that is not a good race? Well, I suggest you chat with Valteri about what is a good race!

    2. I guess because he is in his second F1 season.

  10. Why do I think we will be seeing a repeat of Albon’s story this time next year as well? I highly doubt RBR will hire any driver from the outside of its driver program.

    1. in answer to your question, could it be you are a pessimist or have a different agenda for RB than they have?
      All drivers go on a learning curve,don’t they? F1 is not simply, nowadays, about macho agression, is it not also about strategy and car management? There have been many highly rated drivers who have messed up in races until they have learnt to manage their agression..and some still fall foul of temper tantrums.
      But I guess we will not agree that he has a talent and skill that is worth nurturing.

      1. @geoffgroom44 how long should he get then to prove his worth? If he gets clean sweeped on qualifying and gets battered on points again by the end of next year will you finally admit he’s just not got it?

        I supported Button so I get liking a guy that people don’t believe is top tier material but Albon at times is so far off Verstappen you’d think there was 10 years experience between them. If he can’t do better than half a second off Verstappen then he’s not got it.

        If he gets the drive for next year then I hope he proves the critics wrong otherwise its not going to be pleasant to watch.

        1. I get your popint and it’s a fair one…my only problem with all those who carp about AA is a simple one…why is it always a comparison between the acknoledged (and more experienced) skills of Max in Max’s current form? But they are in the same car? well, are they? Are not cars indicidually tuned to the driving style of the one behind the wheel? Yeah, he might be far behind Verstappen, point taken. Is that because AA is a dummy or because Max is actually probably the best rival to Lewis in the current batch? Just asking :-)
          As for top material…Rookie of the year not good enough for you?

          1. @geoffgroom44 it depends whom you ask – whilst the official Autosport branded award might have gone to Albon, that did surprise people when Autosport had previously ranked Albon as the lowest of the three rookie drivers in 2019 when they presented their own driver rankings at the end of 2019 (Albon was two places behind Norris and five behind Russell); the public vote, meanwhile, put Norris substantially ahead of Albon.

            Furthermore, by your own logic you must also think that Kvyat is “top material” given that he has also been awarded that very same “Rookie of the year” award – unless that is somehow “not good enough for you”?

  11. At least he wasn’t punted off by a “hijo de p…” move!

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